Friday, 22 May 2009

Wildcat with a Tiger's Eye

'Wildcat with a Tiger’s Eye' is the testament to Karin O'Bannon by a peer on being the first recipient of the Manouso Manos Leadership Award. The award honored the lifetime of service, teaching and influence O’Bannon has contributed to the Iyengar yoga community. “While people told a lot of nice stories tonight…some people will tell you I also have some sharp claws.” It takes 'sharp claws' to lead.

This gentle but feisty lady is as humble as she is devoted to empowering people to the Iyengar practice as a holistic way of life.

“Karin’s astute eye for detail penetrates a canvas or a person.” Having attended two of her workshops, this is very true of the Yogi. Her clarity is hard to match. Instructions are precise; so are descriptions of awareness and effects on the anatomy. Her characterisation of attendant sensations are frighteningly accurate. She describes "the feeling of space in the pelvis" in certain poses as cause and effect on pelvic organs like the uterus and ovaries. In short, Karin brings life to the practice by her skill, attention and love.
Her descriptions are priceless; "feel the weight in the centre of your heel, feel the pressure on the metatarsals of the toes, your toes should not curl but should be as light as the antennae of a butterfly...

An interview with Karin O'Bannon...

Also a painter, Karin’s astute eye for detail penetrates a canvas or a person. She has said that she doesn’t remember names very well; she remembers bodies.
At the end of the seven-day (28-hour) workshop, participants were singing her praises and wishing they could teach like her. With a gentle knowing smile, this humble yogi's parting words were: "You should teach the way YOU teach". "Praises and criticism are like water falling off a ducks back". Namaste.


Anonymous said...

How I envy you Yoga enthusiasts, especially when you are mentored by such expert Yogis!

I agree totally that in order to lead one must have "claws", prowess, skills, knowledge that are outstanding. Leaders are by definition not mediocre!

How wonderful that women, because they have the gift of time or make time even when their lives are swirling around them, have time to stand and stare or do yoga or attend usrah...

We definitely feed our souls more than our male compatriots!


fidel said...

Yes Halimah, Karin emphasied the gift of womanhood and the endless capacity to love, do and nuture. Whatever the medium, those who can impart such insight, balance and inspire are true teachers. Its nice to know we are on the same page in many things. Go well.